Monroe County fee hikes OK’d

WOODSFIELD – Increases in the costs of dog tags and kennel licenses were approved Monday by the Monroe County commissioners, who also took action to seek funds from the Ohio Public Works Commission.

A motion was OK’d to raise the price of dog tags from $11 to $12 and kennel licenses from $55 to $60, effective January 2014.

Commissioners also gave approval to a resolution about preparing and submitting an application to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement and/or Local Transportation Improvement Program(s) and to execute contracts as required.

Commissioner John Pyles, who heads the board of commissioners, was authorized to apply for the funds.

In other matters, Helen Ring of the Monroe County Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities program presented a proposed labor agreement between the MRDD board and the Monroe County Education Association. The agreement, which involves a 2 percent increase retroactive to July of this year, was approved by commissioners.

Matt Brake of Swiss Valley Associates was present for a bid opening regarding new sidewalks in front of the courthouse. The one bid received was reviewed and taken under advisement. The bid was from Buds Inc., Nashport, Ohio.

Chelsea Scott and Auditor Pandora Neuhart, representing the Suicide Coalition, presented a proclamation in regard to National Suicide Week, beginning Sept. 8, and it was issued by commissioners.

Suicide Prevention Awareness Week will focus on the Ohio Campaign for Hope: Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative.

The proclamation points out that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the nation, and it is estimated that 4.6 million people in the United States are survivors of suicide including those who have lost a loved one to suicide.

It also was noted that Monroe County is ranked No. 1 in the state for completed suicides per 100,000 people.

According to the proclamation, the suicide rate for those 15-24 years of age has more than doubled since the mid-1950s, and the suicide rate is the highest for adults 75 years of age or older. It also was noted that suicide is largely preventable, and all citizens can help to prevent suicide by becoming aware of warning signs and risk factors and knowing where to get help for individuals at risk.

The two representatives of the Suicide Coalition sought permission to place a banner on the courthouse concerning the observance, and this was granted by commissioners. They also said a silent walk from the courthouse to the gazebo at the Monroe County District Library is planned Sept. 14 at 10 a.m. Other activities that day include an inspirational meeting in the library and an end-of-summer bash with entertainment in front of the courthouse.

Sheriff Charles R. Black Jr. as well as Drew Dimmerling, custodian at the courthouse, and Tracy Truax of the sheriff’s office talked to commissioners about updating the security system in the courthouse. No action was taken.

A motion was approved to close the courthouse Sept. 2 because of Labor Day. The commissioners will meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. rather than Monday,